It's Just a Restaurant

The Atrium at The Cleveland Museum of Art

I worked from the illustrious art museum yesterday. The atrium space is so incredible I try to spend at least one day a week there. It's hard not to be inspired in it's vast beauty.  As I began organizing and answering my emails accumulated after being gone a week, I happened upon a conversation going on next to me. 

At first I thought it was a restaurant manager conducting an interview. As their conversation continued (they were literally a foot away and it's quite impossible for me to not listen to restaurant garb) I realized that they were speaking about the previous nights service. I went about my work, 300 emails won't answer themselves you know, and then heard the manager ask the girl to say the magic words. Intrigued, I listened in and heard him say:

"It's just a restaurant" 

"It's just a restaurant. Remember that." 

I wanted to jump from my chair and strangle him while shouting "it's not just a restaurant! It's not just a restaurant!" 

It's someone's life. 

It's someone's blood. 

It's someone's tears. 

It's hours and days spent away from families. 

It's art. 

It's happiness. 

It's hard. 

It's a place that gives jobs to many in a city that has fallen on hard economic times.  

It's a lifestyle. 

It's a career. 

It's home to the hardest working people you'll ever meet.  

It's a space for community and togetherness. 

It's where genius is born.  

It's my home. 

It's not just a restaurant.  

I know that there is a stigma associated with working in a restaurant. There shouldn't be but there is. The service industry is hard but so worth it. I have watched many people grow into something strong and amazing. I have seen genius born and I have seen strength like no other. The magic words shouldn't be "it's just a restaurant," they should be

"This is a restaurant, stand proud. "